Three Pages, and Some Insights about Writing

Recently, I spoke about a writing site that I stumbled across called 750Words.com. After tinkering around on the site, I spotted some feedback on my writing. Not that anyone was looking at my writing; that’s all entirely private and no one will see it.

However, a computer algorithm has been applied to my writing in order to determine what’s going on in my subconscious.  There were some surprising aspects of my subconscious, or the way the algorithm interpreted my “subconscious.” For example, my writing indicates that I am an introvert. The computer interprets that I am more prone to feeling than thinking. Not surprising to me is that I am more positive than negative in my writing. There were several other aspects of my writing character that the algorithm displays each day. They change, depending on what I write. Some days, I emphasize one sense over another, and then switch back the next day, between touch, hear, see, etc. And, not only does the site compare these elements from one day to the next, but it compares mine to the rest of the writing world! What a hoot.

In case you were wondering, I don’t just write about Ayn Rand, her philosophy of Objectivism, and Christianity. I don’t limit myself to contrasting Libertarian thought and the Obama administration or the Collectivist/Socialist perspective versus Capitalism. Instead, I go wherever I go, which is an exercise that was foreign to me until I started doing a lot of writing.
With all of this analysis and interesting insights, I have been introduced to an entirely new world. Yet, in all of this, I came across a troublesome metric: a descriptor entitled “Self-Important.” Just the fact that I was bothered by this descriptor, as it was applied to me, should confirm that I have an over-inflated view of myself. Yet, I delved deeper.
How do I write in a way that is less “self-important”. What does that even mean? I should look it up. So, between this sentence and the last, I did look it up. The definition on Answer.com was “Having or manifesting an exaggerated idea of one’s own importance or merit.” To me, that is a scathing indictment. I sense that I am this way, but it’s disheartening to hear that it’s probably obvious to everyone. Now, I am wondering how the computer algorithm came up with this conclusion. Was it my use of the word “I” to the exclusion of every other word? Should I talk about others more? And, doesn’t everyone who writes in a journal end up focusing on their own life, and its importance? I rested in that thought, until I noticed that my sense of “self-importance” is greater than the rest of the world’s. So, here I am. Ayn Rand might be pleased, but I don’t know that I can say the same. Writers, readers, sages of any kind, please give me some advice.
Julia Cameron, on her website The Artist’s Way, sees these “morning pages” as “the bedrock tool of a creative recovery.” In fact, she suggests that they might be called “mourning pages” because they are a “farewell to life as you knew it and an introduction to life as it’s going to be.”
What have you experienced when you have written something? Have you ever found writing to be a means to something deeper?

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One thought on “Three Pages, and Some Insights about Writing

  1. Mark,
    This may come across as the assurance from one self-important person to another, but I’ll comment anyway. 🙂 Don’t beat yourself up too much. A person often becomes self-important as a result of a literal lifetime of being affirmed and promoted in relation to his peers. This type of training is hard to break, and I often suffer from feeling like my contribution or opinion is worth more than that of others. I believe that despite this conditioning, one can resist other attributes that make self-importance even more destructive, such as selfishness, dogmatism, stubborn refusal to see the possibility of any other valid view, etc. For what it is worth, I think it is clear you care about people, and you try your best to listen to what others have to say. Also, if we didn’t have people who thought what they have to offer is worth something, society would never advance… it takes all kinds!

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